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The time has finally come, we have waited 596 days, a Summer and 2 Winters, but it has finally arrived… Game of Thrones, the eighth and final season! Unfortunately all good things (or in this case wonderful, exceptional, amazing, tremendous things) must come to an end, after all “The things we love destroy us every time, lad”. So in light of this remarkable day – we have put together a Game of Thrones style blog for all you fan girls and boys who are also looking for a new career. So sit back, relax and let us talk you through it! Networking is essential Just like Petyr Baelish, you should use your network and connections to help you get what you want. Baelish used his connections to get to the Vale. It was his ability to help and assist people that gained him these connections who in turn, owed him favours. Moral of the story, always lend a helping hand, as you never know when you may need something from someone. Learn to prioritise Although it is honourable to hold onto your dream job role and focus all your time on it, you should think about whether it is achievable or whether you should prioritise a more realistic job opportunity. Just like Ser Jorah Mormont, he had his heart set on getting back in the good books of the woman he loves when he obviously should have prioritised finding the cure for Greyscale and staying alive! Always be ready to sell yourself You never know when you’re going to get the opportunity of a life time. So always be prepared to sell yourself and always be prepared with an ‘elevator pitch’. Tyrion has proved to us that talking someone into believing you are worth keeping alive (or hiring you for that matter) could be life changing! Try to memorise a standard pitch in case you run into anyone. Don’t push away the people who are trying to help We would recommend choosing a support team who you trust. Do not, I repeat, do not take a leaf out of Cersei’s book and start cutting off the people who could potentially be valuable allies just because you have reached the top, you may need them sooner than you think. Seek out mentors Even though Daenerys is confident, head strong and independent, she also knows to surround herself with people who can give her good advice and guidance. Don’t be afraid or scared to ask for help and support from other people, you never know who the people you know could be connected to. Are you looking for a new role? Take a look at our vacancy page here! Stay tuned for our series of G.O.T blogs!
As promised, this blog will be digging deep into the ins and outs of a Multi Drop Driving career! If you read our last blog ‘The role of a HGV Driver’ and you’re still unsure as to what career you want to take in the Driving industry, then maybe this blog will help you… As the term ‘multi’ suggests, a Multi Drop Van Driver delivers to more than one place per day. The driver can complete up to and around 30 drops per day! The responsibilities of a Multi Drop Driver Be aware of and plan in advance all routes To check loading items before setting off To carry out daily maintenance checks to avoid any delays on the routes Load and unload goods safely Ensure the vehicle is returned in good condition To adhere to all Driving and Logistics legislation Dealing with customers Ensure all customers receive their deliveries The requirements of a Multi Drop Driver Similar to a HGV driver, there is not many requirements needed to become a Multi Drop Driver, however there are a couple, so take a look… Full UK driving licence Physically fit to be able to lift the goods you are transporting on and off the vehicle Good geographical knowledge Skills needed to be a Multi Drop Driver You’ll need an array of skills to become a marvellous Multi Drop Driver, and here they are: Good customer service skills Ability to work on your own and as part of a team Keen eye for detail Good spoken and written English Good interpersonal skills Ability to be flexible with working hours Typical interview questions If you’re reading this and thinking “yes, this sounds like a career I would enjoy” and you are wanting to schedule an interview as soon as possible, please read the typical interview questions we have put together that could come up: How do you define great customer service? Do you have a clean driving record? Have you been in a car accident? How comfortable are you driving within a … radius of this area? What would you do if you got lost whilst driving for us? How would you stay focused whilst driving for long periods of time? How comfortable are you driving in unfamiliar areas? How would you describe your sense of direction? Why are you interested in this position? Why do you want to be a Multi Drop Driver? How do you manage your time at work? How flexible is your schedule? Multi Drop Driver interview tips Have a copy of your CV with you so you can refer back to your skills and experiences Research the company you are interviewing for – this will show you care about the company as a whole and not just their jobs Ensure you greet everyone with a smile and a firm handshake Dress in smart/casual attire. Even though you are not expected to wear a suit on the job, making an effort for the first time you meet them will be appreciated. Right, if you’ve now made up your mind about what path to take in the Driving industry, click here to see what job vacancies we have available for you!
Are you looking to change your career but not sure what to go into? Or maybe you’re looking to further your career by changing it up a bit. Whatever your situation, we’re here to help you through it. So sit back, relax and let us explain your options to you! Let’s start with HGV driving… In a nutshell, a HGV Driver’s responsibility is to transport goods between the suppliers and the customers. The average HGV Driver salary is around £31,787 per annum. The daily duties of a HGV Driver: Ensuring goods are safely secured. Keeping your vehicle in good condition. This includes daily safety driver checks. Loading and unloading the vehicle safely. Planning and taking the most effective routes to your destination. Requirements of a HGV Driver: Even though you don’t need a degree to become a HGV Driver, there are two essential requirements… You are over 18 years of age. You have a valid UK driving and HGV licence. Most companies ask for previous experience. Most companies ask for Driver CPC. The skills needed to become a HGV Driver: There are a few skills you will need to possess in order to be a HGV Driver… A sense of responsibility Alertness An ability to work independently Impeccable driving record Customer service skills Knowledge of truck mechanics Maintenance skills Physical stamina Ability to meet deadlines Reliability Organisational skills Excellent driving skills Interpersonal skills Concentration skills Attention to detail Typical HGV Driver interview questions: So you’re up to this point and now you must be thinking “I wonder what a HGV interview would be like?” Let me give you an insight to the kind of questions you could be asked… How comfortable are you driving in unfamiliar areas? What would you do if you got lost whilst driving for us? How would you stay focused whilst driving for long hours? Imagine you are in an accident that isn’t your fault, what would you do? If a client was not satisfied because you arrived late with their delivery – how would you handle it? Imagine you are running late for a delivery because you encountered problems on route. What could you do to preserve customer service quality without compromising safety? If I asked you to do basic maintenance to a truck, what steps would you follow? HGV Driver interview tips: So you read some of the possible questions that could come up and now you’re sure you want to become a HGV driver, but you are still yet to go through the interview process. Here are some tips you should take on board for your interview… Learn about the company you are interviewing at – look at their website and take some notes on what they have achieved and where they are looking to take their business. Dress smartly for the interview – appearances can count for a lot and although you won’t be required to wear a suit when on the job, making an effort will show you are serious. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the interview – this can account for any traffic or delays you may run into. When you speak to people, make sure you make eye contact and greet them with a firm handshake. Listen to questions carefully and ensure you stay on topic! Now we have laid out the role of a HGV Driver for you, you’re ready to start looking for your new role! Check out our vacancy page here for more information on what roles we have available for you! If you’re still unsure on where you want to be with your Driving career, stay tuned for our next blog The Role of a Multi Drop Driver.
When it comes to your job search, having previous experience to shout about on your CV and cover letter can help you stand out from other candidates. Not to mention that taking on work experience gives you an insight into the industry, enabling you to begin strengthening your skills. If you’re just starting out your career in the healthcare sector, work experience can be invaluable. Here are our top tips on finding and securing yourself the role that could kick-start your career. Put together a starting CV Putting together a CV is an important first step. This doesn’t have to be in depth, especially if you don’t have any relevant experience. Instead, talk about your education and hobbies and how these will be beneficial to your career in healthcare. You should also make a list of the types of experience you’re looking for and what you hope to gain from it. This will help you if you have to fill out an application, or can be used as a great tool when speaking to employers about the opportunities you’re after. Do your research A quick online search will reveal local businesses that offer work placements and even present you with a range of careers sites to explore. Alternatively, you could use networking sites like LinkedIn to search for opportunities or connect with other healthcare professionals who may be able to help you out. There are also a number of sites out there dedicated to finding and preparing candidates for work experience. For healthcare experience, Prospects and Health Careers are both useful sites. And don’t forget to check the NHS website as well. Start reaching out Once you have a good idea of the type of work experience you’re after, you can begin reaching out to local organisations. Before you begin contacting GPs directly, look at their careers pages and websites. They might have a dedicated page that can tell you everything you need to know about any work experience schemes they run and even let you apply for the role. Alternatively, if you can’t find what you need online, it’s time to pick up the phone or visit them in person. This will not only show that you’re keen, but allow you can have a proper conversation about the opportunities available to you. If you’re still in education, you might also have a dedicated career advisor that can help you by offering contacts, or pointing you in the right direction. If you have access to such a person, they can be a great resource for finding a work placement. Volunteering You should also consider volunteering, even if this is in a different area of healthcare to the one you want to work in. You could volunteer in the social care sector, or perhaps work with mental health charities to support those in need. All of these opportunities look great on your CV and can be a good way to gain relevant industry experience. And there are plenty of healthcare organisations out there looking for extra support! In summary Finding valuable work experience in the healthcare sector is about researching what opportunities are available to you and not being afraid to reach out! Right now the sector is suffering from staff shortages, making organisations all the more grateful for those looking to volunteer or take on work experience. CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board. For more expert advice on careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice and Recruitment Insight pages.
Monday is the least favourite day of the week for many people. It's the first day back at work after a weekend of relaxing and it can often seem harder to motivate yourself to get started. January 21st otherwise known as Blue Monday… well, it's not only considered the worst Monday in January it’s actually considered the worst day of the year. The party season is over, we're already failing our new year resolutions and the grey days and potential of snow don’t make things easier! Luckily for you, we have put together some top tips on how to beat this depressing day and stay positive with your job search! Step one – Morning exercise Exercise has been proven to enhance your mood and to fill you with motivation. It is best to do this at the beginning of your day so you are motivated for the rest of the day and ready to be productive in your job search! Step two – Smile Smiling releases endorphins which are responsible for making us feel happy and they help to lower stress levels. With this in mind, try smiling whilst sat at your screen job searching – also listening to your favourite song can help to put a smile on your face and make you genuinely happy. It has also been said that listening to music can help you focus during tasks – so remember to have a listen whilst you job search! Step three – Avoid any last minute stress If you know that you have a lot to do on application day, then try to prepare yourself for it over the weekend. If something can be done in advance, such as CV preparation or completing a cover letter ready to be sent off, then find time during the weekend to do this. Doing so will mean that you have less to do on the day applications open and you will be less stressed at the thought of applying. Step four – Sleep well The amount of sleep you get is important to how you wake up feeling the next morning, as well as the quality of sleep you get. If you don’t sleep well or don’t get enough sleep then you are likely to wake up feeling irritable and unproductive! The best way to avoid this is to cut off all distractions for at least an hour before you fall asleep, this way you have more of a chance of waking up feeling refreshed and ready to start your productive day. Trust us, if you just pick even one of these ways to beat Blue Monday you will feel much happier! Can you think of any other top tips to get over Blue Monday? Let us know in the comments below.
If you like a challenge and have a passion for helping others, then a career in healthcare could be the right job for you. With a range of possibilities, here are our six reasons why you should consider a career in healthcare. Healthcare offers a variety of opportunities Working in healthcare isn’t restricted to just one or two roles. In fact, there are a range of different career paths which you could choose to pursue. For example, you could be studying cells, fixing broken bones, cleaning teeth or delivering babies. If you enjoy working with people, then you could choose to become a nurse, physician or occupational therapist. Or, if you prefer solitary work then working in a medical laboratory could be the right role for you. So, whether you want to study medicine, work in a busy hospital or doctor’s office, or even if you’re just looking for something to match your skills, the range of opportunities is endless. Healthcare is in demand With the demand for healthcare professionals continuously on the rise, it means the career opportunities are rising along with it. It also means that there are plenty of additional training programmes on offer, which enable you to expand your knowledge and experience. Learn with the best of both Training facilities in healthcare enable you to learn in a classroom and also in an environment where you can take on a more hands on approach. Often you’ll have the chance to work in a hospital, clinic or lab that not only provides you with physical skills and experience, but also enables you establish which area of healthcare you would like pursue. Healthcare is always a challenge Working in healthcare gives you the chance to work with people from all walks of life. This means that there will never be a dull moment in the workplace. Each challenge is different and requires you to think of various ways to solve each problem. You'll also work in a team to overcome challenges and share a genuine passion for helping others. Great pay and benefits With the NHS being one of the most prominent healthcare service providers in the UK, it also offers one of the best pension schemes. Alongside this, annual reviews take place to help with your own personal development. There's also a range of opportunities in private healthcare. Companies within this sector provide regular training programmes, life insurance and flexible working hours. With added bonuses and generous holiday allowances, working in healthcare certainty has a range of benefits. Working in health care is highly rewarding Whether it's mentally or physically, it can be hugely satisfying knowing one the biggest benefits of working in healthcare is making a difference to someone's life. Whichever path you wish to take, the opportunity to help others will always be the common goal and you can guarantee that the work you'll be doing will help make someone's life a little better. Final thoughts Working in healthcare certainly isn’t always easy, but it’s extremely rewarding. So, with hundreds of opportunities across the industry, why not make the most of this incredibly fulfilling career that largely rewards its employees. This blog was written by Jack Lloyd from CV Libary. CV-Library boasts a range of vacancies, from sales, to teaching. It is one of the UK’s leading job boards and owns a handful of sector specific career sites, including Jobs Medical.
What are you up to this Bank Holiday weekend? Are you planning pub lunches, days out and barbeques with family and friends? What about your job search? The excitement of some time off can often mean that most people let their job search slide. So why not take advantage of the lull and get your CV out there ready for Tuesday morning? Here are our top tips for how to job search over the Bank Holiday weekend: Start early It doesn’t have to take up your whole weekend. Choose a morning and dedicate a couple of hours to working on it first thing. This will leave you with enough time to still make the most of the days and the predicted sunny weather! Update your CV With this extra time you could to go through your CV and update it with any new skills you might have. Take the time to write a few versions if you are applying for different jobs, tailoring them to the knowledge and experience needed for those roles. You could also write cover letter templates to go with each CV so that all you need to do is add a few bits of information in before sending it. Look for your dream job I know that’s probably what you are already doing but what about the companies who aren’t advertising for staff? Research the companies you would love to work for. You can use LinkedIn to find the people who work there and work out the best person for you to contact. So what should you say when contacting someone about a job when there isn’t one advertised? Here is a template you can use: Good morning _________, My name is ______ and I am a _________[insert your job title or preferred job title here]. I hope you are well. I understand that you aren’t advertising a job role like mine at the moment, but I would love to take this opportunity to introduce myself and find a bit more about what I can do to potentially work for you in the future. I had a look at your company website and I really loved the look of the business. I particularly liked______[give one or two examples of things that made you want to work for them]. For the past ____ years I have worked in_______[detail your experience here]. This has allowed me to pick up a variety of valuable skills including _________[list skills or training you have]. I have attached my CV to this email but please get in touch with me on ______ or email me back if you have any questions. Thank you for your time [Your name/signature] Get in touch with a recruiter - Even if you cannot find the perfect job, send your CV to a good recruiter. Make sure you include a cover letter explaining the type of roles you are interested in and let them know they best way to contact you. This will show your dedication to your search and allow the recruiter to help or direct you to someone else who can help. You can get in touch with your local Swanstaff recruiter by visiting our branch locator and clicking the “email us” button under your nearest branch. Can you think of any other ways a bank holiday can help your job search?
A group of potential employers and recruiters all in one place and looking to hire? It sounds like a job seekers dream but it is much more than that. It is an opportunity to network and get to know the people you’re applying to work for. So how can you prepare to make the most of visiting a job fair? We’ve broken it down into four stages; before the fair, on the day, during the fair and after it. Before the job fair you will need to: Print enough copies of your CV Depending on the size of the job fair you may want to bring one copy per job stand so that you’re ready. If it’s a particularly big job fair then try to work out how many will be relevant to you and print a few more than that (you don't want to run out!). Your CV should only be 1-2 pages so you should print them double sided if possible. That way you’re only handing them one piece of paper and there’s no chance of the two halves getting separated. Business cards If you have personal business cards then bring them. A business card is not essential but if you have one it will make you look both prepared and professional so make sure to bring enough! Research, research, research A job fair is a fantastic opportunity to speak to the people who will be involved in hiring you so you want to make a good impression. Find out which companies will be there and research the ones most relevant to you. You can use the knowledge you gather on the company to show that you have a real interest in working for them. Typically the first question they will ask is “why do you want to work for us?” so you should be ready with reasons you are interested in their company. On the day you will need to: Dress smartly Making a good first impression is important. You will need to dress smartly, as though you are attending an interview. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes (but not trainers) as you will be on your feet quite a bit. If you want to see more ideas of what to wear to look professional then check out our blog. Remember the essentials This will include a notepad for writing down contact details, a couple of pens, a diary/calendar so that you can schedule meetings whilst you are there and a bottle of water. You will often be given marketing materials so bring a small bag so that you will have somewhere to put them whilst you are speaking to other employers. When you get there: Get your bearings depending on the size of the job fair it may be worth walking around it once to work out the busiest stands. If you are given a map then sit down and circle the stands you are most interested in. This will help you plan a route to make sure you don’t miss anyone. Prioritise ones you are most interested in If you have enough time then it is worth visiting the employers you are least interested in first. This gives you the chance to warm up, practise your pitch and make sure you come across as confidently as possible for the ones you really care about. However, you will need to remember to keep an eye on the time and factor in the potential for waiting to speak with some employers. If you feel like you are running out of time then go and see your top choices as quickly as possible! Take notes When speaking to the employers always ask if they mind if you take some notes. They often won’t and will appreciate that you are taking the initiative to record important information. Write down the company name and the name of the person you spoke to. Ask them for their business card or contact details if they do not have one. You should ask what the next steps are (who needs to contact who and when). If possible find out the dates they plan to interview so that you can keep the days free for this. Ask questions Using your research try to ask questions about the organisation. Some other question you could ask might be: Is there a specific type of experience or training you like applicants to have? How would you describe working here? What can I do to help me stand out from other applicants? How often do you have positions come up? Are there opportunities for progression? After the job fair: Say thank you Using the contact details and business cards you gathered, send a thank you note to the person you spoke to. This could be an email, card or letter. This acknowledges the time they spent with you, creates direct contact and gives them a positive memory of you. Follow up If you were asked to email your CV to a specific person or come along to meet someone then make sure you do this. There is nothing worse than making a good first impression and then letting them down by being late or not getting in touch. If you leave it too long then you risk missing out on the roles they have. Find them on LinkedIn Try to find the people you spoke with on LinkedIn. Even if you aren’t able to work with them immediately they are great to add as part of your network as a long term opportunity. Attending a job fair is a great way to get to know employers and help them find out more about you. Can you think of any other tips on how to get the most out of a job fair? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking to meet with experienced recruiters you don’t need to wait for the job fairs. Check out our branch locator for your nearest team and give them a call to find out more about how a recruitment agency can help you!
There are so many myths surrounding working in care and today we’re helping to bust them! Myth 1 - There Isn’t Any Development Or Progression This myth couldn’t be more false. In fact, many recruitment agencies and care providers will work to upskill their staff and promote existing staff members where possible. The more skills and experience you have, the more pay you will be on, just like any other job. At Swanstaff we have our own training team and offer free or discounted training to our agency staff. The more skills they have, the more opportunities we have to place them out so there is in fact a lot of progression wherever you work in care. Myth 2 - Care Work In Long Hours On Low Pay Pay in care work care vary depending on the type of role you are in and what your skills and experience are, however it is not a low paid job. The unusual hours that care workers work can be off putting to some people, however the flexible nature of the job (especially within agency work) can be a great option for people trying to fit in working around studying, family or other commitments. Myth 3 - Care Work Is Unfulfilling Despite the negative perception of care work, 96% of carers said that they feel their work makes a difference. In fact, we are sure that many would agree that looking after other people is one of the most rewarding careers a person can choose. Are there any other myths around working in care that you can think of? What’s your favourite thing about working in care? If you’re looking for work then check out our current vacancies here, or visit our branch locator to find your nearest branch and get in touch with them.
Roles in Healthcare can often involve night shifts. For some people this may be an easy move but for others the switch in hours can really affect their health and wellbeing. So how can you prepare for and get through a night shift if you’ve never done one before? We asked experienced Healthcare professionals for their top tips on how to survive the night shift. Before your shift: Drink plenty of water – Being well hydrated before a shift will help you feel more alert Try to rest and take naps – It can help to try to adjust your sleeping pattern the night before to match the hours you will be doing if possible. Limit caffeine – Whilst a lot of people swear by caffeine to get them through the shift, drinking if beforehand could lead to you having an energy crash mid shift. If you are going to have one, have it at the start of your shift and drink plenty of water alongside it. During your shift: Don’t sit down for too long – A number of people said they found sitting down made them feel more tired. Try to get up and move around regularly, even if it is just walking around the corridors. You could challenge other team members to do a one minute dance party every hour to keep you all going. Fresh air – Take the time to get fresh air to make you feel more awake. Try to step outside on a break or open a window to get some air. Some people said they found it beneficial to split their break so they could go out and get air more regularly. Others said that they found getting air whenever they found themselves feeling tired was enough to keep them going. Eat little and often – Try not to fall into the trap of quick, easy unhealthy food. Instead choose foods like fruit and protein bars. Choosing healthy snacks that provide slow release energy will help you through your shift. Keep the lights on – Bright lights will promote alertness and help keep you awake so make sure to keep the light on where possible. Drink lots of water – Most people turn to energy drinks and caffeine fixes but these can actually make things worse. Although they give a short burst of energy they also come with a crash. Staying hydrated is important for your overall wellbeing and will make you feel more energised. Try to take a water bottle with you so you can carry it around during your shift and measure how much you have drunk. After your shift: Sleep as soon as you can – Try not to stop on the way home, the less time you spend in the daylight the easier it will be to sleep. Ask family and friends to limit phone calls and noise – Set your phone to do not disturb and let the people you live with know when you will be sleeping so they can keep the noise down during these times. Use blackout blinds and an eye mask – These will really help you to switch off and get to sleep. Working a night shift can be a real challenge but it’s not impossible. We hope these tips help you prepare for yours. If you work a night-shift already then why not try some of these tips. Alternatively, let us know any tips we might have missed in the comments below! If you’re looking for work, get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch today.
First impressions really do matter, and not just in a face-to-face in an interview! A good cover letter can be the difference between nabbing that interview and losing their interest. So what will make your Healthcare cover letter dazzle the hiring manager? Read on to find out! Be to the point The first paragraph of your cover letter should state the purpose. You should include what job you’re applying for and one or two sentences about how your experience matches up with the role. “I recently learned of Swanstaff’s need for a Registered Nurse and thought I would get in touch as my experience/skills/knowledge lines up with the needs of the role. My experience with _____ provided me with an excellent knowledge of ____, _____ and _____.” Tailor your letter Do some research into the company. It is worth mentioning how you match their core values or goals, perhaps picking a particular one that resonates with you and discussing that. Stand out Tell a story about why you want to do the role. Try to choose a story that is unique and will help them get to know you. If you haven’t worked before, use a personal story from your home life, and if you have worked, you can use one from the workplace. Highlight successes Don’t just repeat what is on your CV. Use your cover letter to reveal successes you had in a role or during your education. For example: “When I worked for ______ I learnt a lot about how to provide excellent care. I realised that there was not much opportunity for the patients to do activities if they could not leave their beds, so implemented “Bed Craft Days” with donated art materials. These went down really well with patients and families and allowed me to provide a creative solution to a problem.” The most important thing in a cover letter is to let your personality shine through. You need to show why you would be a great fit for their role and team. Can you think of anything else you would want to include in a cover letter for a healthcare job role? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for a new job then get in touch with Swanstaff today to find out more about how we can help you find the perfect job role to suit you.
During sixth form I was achieving good grades and knew I was going to complete my A levels with great results. It was then everyone started talking about “what is next?”. But whilst you’re in sixth form there is so much pressure from teachers to go to University. Despite this, I knew I wanted to go straight out into the working world and gain experience. I spoke to my teachers about other opportunities for me rather than going to university. There were several areas to go when leaving school such as completing a college course, going straight into a full time job, or get an apprenticeship. I chose to become an apprentice and am thrilled with how it has turned out. Being an apprentice means I am earning and learning at the same time. Apprenticeship courses are based around the role or area of the business you work in; I am currently completing my Administration Apprenticeship within Swanstaff Recruitment. This company has made my apprenticeship interesting and fun. It has given me the opportunity to learn so much about businesses and how they run. An apprenticeship involves completing coursework and training with regular visits from a tutor to help marking your work and discussing your progress. I really enjoy my apprenticeship and I feel like it has really helped me get a “foot in the door” as people say. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is looking to get straight into work but wants to continue learning at the same time! Written by Sian Goldfinch Reception Apprentice at Swanstaff Recruitment
Continuing our "How To Answer" interview question series, we're asking if you know how to answer this very common question. "What is your greatest strength?". It may seem fairly straightforward. You need to pick a strength that you know will benefit the company you are interviewing for. So how can you make sure your answer comes across well? Make sure it is a strength that is crucial to the position. As we mentioned before, this is your chance to show the company how you will help them. It may seem like an obvious point but try to pick a skill that they asked for in the job advert. Do some research – Make sure to look at the company’s core values and see what they care about. This will help you to tailor your answer to them better. Make sure that you pick a skill that you can give an example for. Interviewers often follow up with the question “give me an example of this”. You need to make sure you can demonstrate your chosen skill, preferably using a workplace based experience. Try to avoid the typical “I’m a perfectionist”, “I’m organised” and “I’m hard-working”. These are not going to make you memorable. You don’t need to worry about being modest. This is a chance to really show them what you can do. However, you don’t want to go too far the other way and come off cocky. Try to find a happy medium. If you’re looking for a new job, then you can get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch here.
Did you wake up to a blanket of snow? This is typically a time when things seem to grind to a halt but whilst the city may be sleeping, there is no better time to keep your job search going! So grab a hot drink, make yourself cosy and check out our top tips for job searching on a snowy day! Give your CV a makeover With all the extra time you have indoors trying to keep warm, there is no better time to improve your CV. Make sure you include all your experience and skills as these are usually the things that employers look for. Keep it to two pages if possible and try to personalise the “Personal Profile” section for each role you’re applying for. Even if you have multiple versions of your CV! Give them a call Look back at the companies you have applied to work for. If you haven’t heard from them, take this time as an opportunity to give them a call or email to follow up. You can ask what they thought of your CV and if they have any questions about you or your experience. Give a little thanks If you’ve been to an interview, take this time to send a thank you note. We have a blog here which includes thank you templates you can use. If you are registered with recruitment agencies take the time to pop them a message saying thank you for their help so far and how much you appreciate it. Not only will that make them feel great, but it will also bring you to mind first if they have an opportunity become available. Get searching! Not only for jobs. You can search for job related blogs (like ours!) to find top tips on what you can be doing. You can also research companies you would like to work for. If you find them on LinkedIn, you can see their employees listed and work out the best person to contact. You can message them and say that you know there aren’t any current positions but could they keep you in mind in case something comes up. You never know what might happen! So even if your day has been brought to a snowy standstill, it doesn’t mean your job search needs to as well! Use your time cleverly and you will be amazed by what you can achieve!
What do they mean by “why do you want to work for us” in an interview? It’s not a trick question and they’re not trying to trip you up. They want to know if you are just there for the pay and because it’s a job or if you are going to become invested in and integral to the company. You need to use your answer to show them you want to become a part of the team/family. So how can you make sure you impress in your answer? Use your research Research the company to get a good understanding of the company needs and talk about how passionate you are to help them achieve their goals. Use compliments Everyone loves a compliment. You could discuss a project or achievement and why you would love to be a part of the next one. Use examples Choose examples of how your skills and experience align with the company needs and values. Can you think of any other important things to include in your answer here? If you’re looking for a new job, get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch here.
When running an interview there are a few things you are trying to achieve. You need to know how good this person is at their job, how well they will fit in your team and if they reflect your company values. There are a number of generic interview questions people typically ask, but what about more creative ones? Here at Swanstaff we ask a number of the following questions in our own interview process. Not only do they help us to ascertain the candidate’s suitability for the role but they also create great talking points to help us get to know them and see if they would be a good fit for the team. Could you ask some of these in your next interview? What’s the most interesting thing about you that’s not included on your CV? Who was your childhood hero and why? If you could have one super power, what would it be? What is your best memory and why? If I gave you £10,000 what would you spend it on? What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced, not work related? How would your closest friends describe you? What was the last thing you watched on TV and what made you decide to watch it? If someone wrote the story of your life, what would it be called and why? Teach me something I don’t know in the next 5 minutes. If you’re looking for a new job then check out our current vacancies or get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch today!
First impressions are so important and you don’t get a second chance to make one. That’s why you need to make sure that you follow these simple steps to making a good first impression in a job interview! Plan Your Journey Make sure that you allow plenty of time to get to your interview. Typically you should aim to be going into an interview no more than 10 minutes before your time slot. If you’re earlier than this, you can find a local coffee shop to sit down and prepare yourself. 96% of interviewers in a survey by Monster said that a candidates time keeping skills would influence their decision so it is a vital part of your first impression! Shake It Up Make sure your handshake is solid and confident. Don’t be too strong or too limp. Try to find a happy medium for this and remember to look them in the eye and smile as you introduce yourself. Look (And Smell!) Your Best You want to make sure that you look smart and fit the required dress code. Clothes must be clean and ironed and you should be clean and smartly turned out. If you wear perfume or aftershave, don’t put too much on. You don’t want to overpower your interviewer! Remember these three things and you will make your first impression a great one! If you start an interview with a good impression, then you have a better chance of success. If you’re looking for a new job then check out our current vacancies or get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch today!
Valentine’s Day is typically known as a day for you to shower the people you love with affection. But instead of chocolates and roses, we think one of the best gifts Valentine’s Day can give you is job search advice! Don’t believe us? Read on and find out! Research, Research, Research Whether it’s your first date or a first interview, you need to prepare by researching. For a date you might to find the perfect location and things you have in common to discuss. However, for an interview you will probably be researching the company, their values and the job you could be doing. If you want to find out more about researching before a job interview, check out our blog here! Dress To Impress For a date or an interview, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to want to dress well to make a good impression. This will mean you need to find out the dress code beforehand to be sure that you will come across well. For an interview this will mean asking the person who has invited in what they would like you to wear. It may vary depending on the job role. Follow Up After a date you follow up with the usual, “I had fun, let’s do it again” message. After an interview you want to do something similar letting them know you are definitely interested in working for them and there if they have any questions. If you need some ideas, check out our blog with templates on this here. Even if the interview went badly, it is worth following up to explain that you don’t think you came across as well as you would like. So remember; you need to prepare, dress well and follow up. If you do these three things then you give any interviews or dates the best chance of success! If you’re looking for a new job then check out our jobs here.
How do you answer, what is your biggest weakness? This is another of those questions that seems to scare people in interviews. When answering this question, bear the following points in mind: Choose a weakness which does not directly relate to the role you are applying for. The weakness must relate to a the workplace but if the job advert said they wanted someone who is highly organised then you say your weakness is being disorganised then they may not feel you're suited to the job! Show awareness of the weakness and how it affects you by saying how you will overcome it. You could even include ways you are working to overcome it already and how they are helping. Don’t be a cliché. Don’t answer with “I’m just such a perfectionist”. This shows a lack of self-awareness and will not go down well with a hiring manager. Do not avoid the question. How would you answer this question now? You can search our blog for more of our “how to answer” series to discover other interview questions and our top tips for answering them! If you’re looking for a new job, then get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch.
Are you a hard-working, multi-tasking, highly-organised superhero of a candidate? So why are you panicking when the interviewer asks “why should we hire you”? Well don’t worry, we all do it. It can be hard to be put on the spot and asked to sell yourself. After all, what are they really asking here? They want to know what skills and experience you will bring to the company. How do you stand out in comparison to other candidates? Here are our top tips for how to answer, why should we hire you: Research, research, research Make sure you have looked up everything you can about the company. Know who they are and what they do well enough that you know how you will fit in and benefit them. If you’re not sure how to research a company, check out our blog here. Know your USP Chances are the other candidates you’re up against have similar qualifications and experience to you. So how do you stand out? What is your unique selling point? Try to emphasise this in your answer. Problem solving Did you notice a problem the company is having during your research? Talk about how you could help to solve this and explain your solution. This will give them an idea of how you work and how you can help them. Be concise You want make sure your answer is no longer than a minute or two. Whilst it is good to practise beforehand you need to make sure you leave room for changes to highlight or emphasise skills that the employer suggests are more valuable throughout the interview. If you’re looking for a new job then get in touch with your local branch today.
Many people struggle with the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years” because on the surface it appears to be simple but there are a few traps. You need to show ambition without going overboard. So with this in mind here are our 5 top tips on how to answer, where you see yourself in 5 years. Show commitment. It’s important to make sure you show that you plan or would like to stay with their company. Show realistic plan for personal development. You need to stress your long term career plans and how this company are a part of that. Show how your values link to the company’s. Try to understand their growth plans and how you and your potential role might fit into them. Don’t say “in your job” to whoever is interviewing you. It might seem “cute” at the time but it’s not going to go down well if they think you’re out to steal their job from the start! Don’t lie. Whilst you may not plan to stay with a company long term, it is not in your best interest to mention this in your interview. Try to be honest about where you would like to be professionally. If you’re not planning to stay with the company then you will need to think and prepare your answer for this before the interview so you can word it well. If you’re looking for a new job, then call your local Swanstaff branch or check out our current jobs here.
If the thought of a work appraisal makes you worry then you probably aren’t doing them right! Depending on the size of your company will depend on the number of appraisals you will be going to get a year but typically you will have at least one. Appraisals usually have a set format or form that must be filled in during the meeting to guide the discussion. The main purpose of an appraisal is to review your progress, achievements, and goals. The information gathered will help you and your manager to decide development opportunities to help you improve. Although you will be told what you need to bring to an appraisal, there are a few things you can do to prepare: Write out your achievements. It can help you to keep them fresh in your mind so that you feel comfortable discussing them and don’t have to come up with something on the spot. Think about something that challenged you that you would like to do better next time. An appraisal is a great opportunity for self-reflection and evaluation. Get details. Though your manager will have time to prepare they may have more than one appraisal to do. You can bring along evidence of work that you did particularly well to discuss. Pick 3 career goals. Decide a few goals that you want to achieve to discuss. These could be a project you want to complete, course you want to take, skill you want to learn or even new responsibilities you would like to take on. What do you want to get from the meeting? Prepare questions that cover these things to make sure that you get what you need. Some good questions to ask would be: How can I progress for next time? Is there any training I can take that will help me move forward? Are there any additional responsibilities I can take? What weaknesses do I have that you would most like me to work on? With this all in mind, our top tips for an appraisal are: Be upbeat Try to focus on the positives, even when discussing weaknesses. Weaknesses are an opportunity to grow so when you mention them, it is worth also saying how you plan to avoid or overcome them in the future. Practise If you’re feeling nervous then practise answers. You can ask for a copy of the form or questions they will be asking beforehand so that you can think about the answers ahead of time. Be realistic Try to set realistic plans and goals. It can help to come up with both short term and long term ideas to give you things to constantly aim for. If you’re looking for a new job then get in touch with your local branch of Swanstaff today.
So you’re reaching the end of the interview, and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” At this moment you have a couple of options. Option 1, say “No, thank you, I think you’ve answered all the questions I had already today!” Option 2, ask some of the following questions if they haven’t already been answered: How would you describe the company culture? What do you love most about working here? Will I be working with a team? Could you tell me a bit about them? What would a typical day look like for this role? What opportunities are there for training and progression within the role? Where do you see the company in 5/10 years’ time? What are the next interview steps? When can I next expect to hear from you? It is important to make sure that you prepare for an interview thoroughly. If you think of any questions during the interview, try to save them for the end, just in case they are answered later in the interview. If you’re looking for a new job, get in touch with your local Swanstaff team today!
How would you describe yourself? It’s one of the most popular interview questions but your response is still very important. You need to try to plan your answer in advance. Try to take keywords from the job advert to inspire your response. If they are looking for someone who is “Driven and self-motivated” you could say something like the following: “I am comfortable working both in a team and alone. For example when I did _____at ____ I proved that I was able to motivate myself to stay focused on the task and complete it independently before the deadline.” Another example could be for the keywords “organised and a team player”. “I am organised and reliable. Whilst working for _____ I worked on _____. For the project we had to hit a number of deadlines and work collaboratively to achieve this. This meant I had to be highly organised and be clear on who was dealing with each part to make sure it was a success.” Other words you could base your description of yourself on would be: flexible detail oriantated reliable communicative creative Try to include examples of when you showed these qualities to justify them. However you don't want to make it all about the keywords, be sure to personalise your answer to really show who you are. So how would you answer the question “how would you describe yourself” now? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for a new job then give your local branch a call.
When preparing for an interview you should go over the job description carefully. Make sure that your experiences and qualifications match up and if there are gaps, prepare an answer to cover you for this. However, there will still be a number of typical questions that you will likely be asked and need to prepare for. Here are the 3 most commonly asked nursing interview questions and how you can answer them. What made you choose to become a nurse? Possibly the most common question nurses will be asked (both in and out of an interview) but it is still important to have an answer prepared that you have tailored to the role you are going for. Don’t be afraid to be personal, especially if you have story behind your choice. If you don’t really have a story or something you are comfortable sharing then you can say something like the following: I have always loved caring for people, even from a young age. As I have grown I realised that nursing is a way for me to turn my passion into a career where I can really make a difference to people’s lives. What do you find rewarding about nursing? There will obviously be a number of rewards to any job you are going for but they are looking for an answer that tells them about the type of nurse that you are, so try to offer an experience you have had which shows them the part you find most rewarding. You could share a story about a particularly grateful patient and their family, or about a patient that inspired you through their strength. Try to avoid talking about money or how easy the commute will be. That’s not what they’re looking for here. What do you find is the hardest part about being a nurse? This question is not asking you to tell them about how much you hate working nights because it affects your social life. It’s asking you to talk about how the job role affects you personally. You could discuss how hard you find it to deal with feeling helpless and wishing you could do more to help a patient, or how you find it hard to speak to the families of a patient as you genuinely care about people and find it difficult to give them news when there is nothing you can do to help them. These are just a few of the questions nurses are often asked in an interview. If you’re a nurse looking for work then we have jobs both permanent and temporary across the UK. Get in touch with your local team today or see some of our current jobs here.
Leaving a job you’ve been in, no matter how long it was for, can be difficult. However, talking about why you are leaving in interviews with potential new employers can also cause issues. You need to avoid being negative about current or previous employers, whilst also explaining as honestly as you can why you don’t want to work there anymore. You should be careful with the wording you use and the way you approach this question. Here are some ideas of what you can say for a variety of different reasons: “I’m not going anywhere, I feel stuck.” “Although this job has allowed me to develop my skills at a comfortable pace, I am now looking for a role that can offer me more progression and opportunities to learn.” “I’m bored.” “My current workplace has allowed me to gain a number of useful experiences but I am now looking for a more challenging role in a faster paced environment to give me the chance to learn and develop my skills further.” “I want to do something else.” “Whilst I have enjoyed my current workplace and learnt a lot of new skills I have revaluated what I would like to do moving forward in my career and can really see myself flourishing in a ____ role, like this one.” “I was overlooked for promotion.” “I realised that the opportunity to grow in the company was not available to me and in order to continue to improve professionally I needed to move onto another role.” “I don’t like my boss/colleagues” “Whilst at ____ I learnt a lot. I would like to move into another role now where I might find a better company culture fit for myself so I can continue to grow in an environment that suits my personality.” Are there any other reasons for leaving a job that you can think of a good way of wording an answer to? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re looking for a new job then check out our current jobs here.
So you nailed your first interview and now you’ve been invited back for a second. This one will be different. Where the first interview tested your abilities and personality, the second will be your opportunity to prove what separates you from the competition. Your interview may be with someone different, for example a Director or Manager. Or it may be a “panel-style interview” which means you are interviewed by multiple people at the same time. However they are going to do it, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Be prepared – The questions they ask might be more detailed and technical. They may want to give you a test to prove your knowledge. Don’t forget to ask beforehand if you need to bring anything additional, this will vary depending on the industry you work in. They could ask for a presentation, a portfolio, certificates, etc. It is also worth making sure you have the names of all the people interviewing you. Plan It – Think about the questions you want to ask and the things you might like to learn about the company. The interview is as much about you getting to know them better as it is about them getting to know you. If it helps, prepare a list of questions that you can read from so that you don’t miss anything. Cultural Fit – They will have probably thought about how you might fit into the team at the first interview, but this will be more in depth one. They may introduce you to more of the people you will work with. This is your chance to see if you think you can imagine yourself working with these people as well. Clarify – Did you have any questions that you felt you could have answered better, things you wanted to say? This is your chance to improve on your first interview, which must have been good for them to call you back! Take your time and try not to rush your answers. You need to think before you speak. What Next? – Evaluate how you feel the interview went and don’t forget to send a thank you (you can see some thank you template ideas here). Make sure you ask what the next steps are before you leave. When can you expect to hear from them next? Will there be another interview or will they be making a decision? Are there other people to see? Can you think of any other tips that you can use to help you ace a second stage interview? Let us know in the comments below! If you’re looking for work then check out our current jobs here, or get in touch with your local branch here.
Conducting an interview isn’t easy. In fact, even though the content of the interview is mainly coming from the person you are interviewing, the responsibility for guiding and making it worthwhile comes from the interviewer. It is more than just asking questions. So here are our top tips you can use to run a great interview for you and your candidate: Ask questions that relate to skills If someone is interviewing for an administration or front of house role then ask about things they do outside of work that show organization. You can learn a lot about someone this way and whether they would be a good fit for the job. Explain the stages At the start of an interview explain how it will work. A typical interview follows this format: Introducing the role and company Interviewer asks questions about skills Candidate has opportunity to ask questions Show candidate around office and introduce the team Let the candidate do the talking Although you are going to want to make sure you lead the interview, it is said that the interviewer should only be doing 30-40% of the talking. The rest of the time should be filled by the candidate answering questions or them being shown around. Culture fit it is important to make sure the candidate is a good culture fit for your workplace. Try to ask them questions about their hobbies and interests to work this out. Introducing them to the team in a tour of the office is also a good way to do this as the team can help you judge if they will get along with a person well. Take notes whether it’s when a candidate is talking so that you can write a question to ask them later, or to make note of their answers so you can clearly remember what they said, this is important. Remember, an interview is a conversation not an interrogation! A candidate is likely to be nervous, even if they put on a convincing confident mask. Make sure they you word the questions as a conversation by asking them to expand on their answers. Try not to quick fire a question at them as soon as they answer another one. If you’re looking to hire someone then get in touch with Swanstaff. Our expert recruiters across the UK will be able to help an advise you.
So you completed your interview and whether it went badly or went well there are three things you now need to do. In fact, the worst thing you can do is to not do anything at all. Follow up You should always follow up after an interview. If it went well then it is great to follow up to make sure they remember you and if it went badly, this is your opportunity to make amends. If it went well you can send a thank you note similar to the following template: Dear----- I just wanted to say thank you for seeing me earlier and interviewing me for the role of ------. I really enjoyed meeting and speaking to you about the role. If you have any further questions you’d like to ask me, please feel free to give me a call on ------ or pop me an email and I’d be happy to answer them. I look forward to hearing from you Thank you again If it didn’t go quite as well as you hoped you can base it off the following thank you note template: Dear ----- I just wanted to say thank you for seeing me earlier and interviewing me for the role of -------. Whilst I really enjoyed meeting you, I don’t feel that I made the best first impression and would really like to apologise and make up for this. I feel I could have answered -------- better by explaining --------. If you have any other questions you’d like to ask me, please give me a call on ------- or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you Thank you again You can send it as an email, a handwritten note or even come up with something more creative and fitting to the company you are applying to. Don’t stop job searching Even if you think you nailed it and the job is yours, it is always worth continuing your job search for many reasons. For one, you may find a better job to apply for. You may also find that you don’t get the job you interviewed for or that their hiring process drags on and you can find a better opportunity in the meantime. For whatever reason, it is vital to make sure that you continue your job search so that you don’t miss out on great roles that might be out there. Review how it went It is really important to take each interview as an opportunity to learn and grow. You need to think about what went well and what didn’t, how can you improve on the negatives? Was there something you did not have enough knowledge on, or a question you struggled to answer? Knowing these things will help you see where you can improve so you do better in future interviews. If you’re looking for a new job then please get in touch with your local Swanstaff team today!
So your CV cinched an interview, the interview impressed your potential employers and you got an offer from your dream job. Now all you have to do is get through your first day and make sure that all important first impression is a good one. You might be feeling nervous, but don’t worry, we have four simple tips that you can use to make sure your first day goes smoothly and is memorable for all the right reasons. Dress to Impress Looks aren’t everything but it is proven that when you look good, you feel good. Feeling good will make you more confident and let’s face it, everyone gets those first day nerves so you’re going to need the added confidence boost. Make sure you know the office dress code and plan your outfit in advance. You could even get it out and ready the night before to make sure you don’t have a panic finding it in the morning. Be Prepared Just like you had to prepare for an interview, you need to be sure you have everything you might need for your first day. Make sure you have a good knowledge of your new role and company (If you’re not sure how to research a company, check out our blog which will help guide you in the right direction). It is also worth bringing a pen. Though they will have plenty, it’s good to have it if you’re asked to sign or write something. There’s no harm in being prepared. Don’t forget that you can always speak to the person who hired you if you’re not sure what to bring. Be Punctual Have everything you need for your first day ready the night before. You need to make sure you get a good night’s sleep and you don’t want to wake up and rush around. Make sure you know your journey to work and do a practise run if you’re not confident on the route. It’s worth leaving a little earlier to give you time for train cancellations and other typical work journey troubles! Get Involved Start as you mean to go on! You don’t have jump into doing anything too drastic but make sure you ask lots of questions and offer to help where you can. Being proactive makes a great first impression. If you have a quiet moment where you haven’t been given something, take that time to organise yourself or ask someone if you can help out in any way. This could be anything from scanning things at the printer to answering the phones for someone. Just show that you are willing to help. If you’re looking for a new job then check out our branch locator to find your nearest Swanstaff team. Our expert recruiters will be able to help and offer advice, so all you have to worry about is those first day nerves!
So it’s the New Year. The time for making plans and resolutions for what we want 2018 to be. If one of your resolutions is to look for new jobs in the New Year then you are one of the one in four Brits planning this move. So with that in mind here are our top tips to help you find your dream new job in 2018. CV Spruce Up At the beginning of the year, recruiters and employers are swamped with applications from lots of people with the same idea as you. With 1 in 4 looking for a new job it’s important to make sure that you stand out from the crowd. Take the time to tailor your CV to the roles you are applying for. You can do this by using keywords from the job advert and ensuring you personalise your cover letter. Know How to Network Recruiters and employers are using social networks more and more to advertise positions and source talent. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you are connected with as many people in the companies you want to work with as possible. This will give you a better chance of seeing the roles advertised first. Be Prepared Whether it’s for an over the phone interview or a face-to-face, make sure you are prepared. I don’t mean you need to have carefully rehearsed answers for every question they might ask, but making sure you have a good understanding of the role and the business will make your interview more efficient and help you to come across more professional. Speak To An Expert Get advice from a specialist recruiter. It’s their job to know the industry you work in and they will be able to advise and guide you to help you find a new job. They can help you to improve your CV and put you forward for multiple roles. If you would like one of our specialist recruiters to help you find a new job for the New Year, you can find your local branch here.
2018 has arrived and whilst most people are looking forward to the year ahead, we’re asking you to look back at 2017. By taking this time to reflect you can see all the difficulties you’ve faced and overcome, as well as the things you have accomplished. Look back at everything from your career, to your personal choices and to the things you could have done differently. Now ask yourself these questions: What really inspired me, or changed my outlook this year? What did I achieve that I am most proud of? What am I most grateful for this year? What was harder than expected and how did I overcome it? What new skills or career developments did I gain or see? Did I add to my CV? How did I surprise myself this year? Did I achieve something I didn't expect to? What negatives did I face and how did I get passed them? What was the kindest thing I did for a work colleague? How did I make a difference to a charity or cause I care about in 2017? What did I start and not complete? Could I do it in 2018 instead? After asking yourself all these questions, you can maybe better understand what you would like your goals to be in 2018. If you’re wondering how to make goals and stick to them, check out this blog. If one of your 2018 goals is to find a new job then get in touch with our fantastic specialist recruiters here.
So you’ve decided you want a new job. You’ve sent your CV out and interviewed and bagged yourself that offer. You accept it and hand in your notice at your current job. Maybe you’re sad to be going, maybe not. Then your boss throws in a curveball. They counter offer. This counter offer may be more than what you’re going for or match it. Should you accept? Only you can really decide but here are the things you should consider: Why were you looking to leave? If you were feeling underappreciated or underpaid, does this new offer fix that? If you’re feeling underappreciated then maybe you need to ask why they wait until you were leaving to offer you a better deal? What does this counter offer give you that your new potential company does not? Which offer gives you the most opportunities? Look at the potential for growth and training in both offers. Being given the opportunity to grow and develop can make all the difference in your happiness in a job. How does this counter offer make you feel? Do you feel excited that you will be able to stay in your current job? Your feelings and reaction to hearing the counter offer will tell you a lot about whether you should go for it. Who has made the better offer? Sometimes, the highest offer isn’t always the best when you take into account the full package. Consider opportunities, training, perks and social benefits of the roles. Ultimately the choice of whether or not to accept a counter offer is down to you however it is worth bearing all of these things in mind when making your decision. If you’re looking for a new role you can download our app here or here. Or click here to find your local branch and speak to one of our expert recruiters.
As we say goodbye to 2017 and welcome 2018 it’s no secret that the New Year is often a busy time for recruitment. So how can you make sure your recruitment efforts in 2018 are successful? Here are our top tips! Candidate Surge Did you know that one in four employees are preparing to change jobs in the New Year? With this record figure it’s unsurprising that there will be many companies whose recruitment processes will not be prepared to deal with this. It is worth considering using an agency to narrow the candidates down to the most relevant one’s for you. Introducing AI As many people are already aware, AI is a new technology that is going to take the world by storm in 2018. It can be brought into the recruitment process and a number of well-known companies are already using it.Whilst some people may find the idea of it a little daunting it’s actually relatively simple. Essentially algorithms will be able to see if the candidate is a good enough fit to move to the next phase, saving time and significantly improving the hiring process. This will allow you to spend less time weeding out the candidates that don’t fit and spend more time on those that do, ultimately improving productivity. We expect many companies will embrace the use of algorithms in 2018. Stand Out Making sure that you stand out as an employer in 2018 will be vital. One way you can do this is using testimonials and a careers section on your website. Try to show your company culture and include video testimonials. These are great for encouraging people thinking of joining your company. If you’re looking to hire a specialist recruiter, check out our Branch Locator to speak to your local team.
So you’ve not found your dream job yet and on top of that it’s now freezing cold every day with a lot less daylight hours. It is easy to understand why your motivation and positivity might have taken a hit. You could be suffering from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which causes a number of symptoms such as low energy levels, low self-esteem and anxiety. This disorder affects 29% of adults according to research from The Weather Channel and YouGov. Alison Kerry, from the mental health charity MIND, says: “With SAD, one theory is that light entering the eye causes changes in hormone levels in the body. In our bodies, light functions to stop the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making us wake up. It’s thought that SAD sufferers are affected by shorter daylight hours in the winter. They produce higher melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression.” So how can you fight SAD and not let it make you feel blue during your job search? “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” So the winter blues may be affected by daylight. Boost your positivity and productivity when job hunting by moving your computer or job searching work station to somewhere with plenty of daylight. Schedule breaks where you physically leave the house and go outside for walks. Even if you only go as far as your local shop, it’s better than nothing and this can make a massive difference to your mood. “You deserve this!” It is important to reward yourself when you things go well. Whether you’ve got that call back you were waiting for, got an interview booked or filled out a particularly complicated application you should congratulate yourself for doing things well! You could reward yourself with a couple of hours watching a movie or catching up with friends. It doesn’t matter what it is just as long as it makes you feel good so you can return to job hunting feeling refreshed and motivated. “Make good food choices!” When you are already feeling sorry for yourself it is very easy to reach for those bad foods but try to make better choices and you will feel better in the long run. If you are desperately craving chocolate then maybe reach for the dark chocolate as an option. It is a much better choice than other chocolate types! You could also snack on fruits or nuts. Make sure you are taking proper breaks to eat otherwise you may end up eating more than you intended whilst working on something. “Be active and social!” Staying active is really important. Although this doesn’t necessarily help your job search directly it will help to release endorphins which will improve your mood. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it just needs to get your heart rate up. You can always use this as an opportunity for being social as well. You could do a class with a friend, or go on a bike ride with a friend. Just try to leave the house and not look at the same 4 walls. If you’re looking for a job then why not check out our job board here or get in touch with your local Swanstaff branch using this link here.
Over years we have laughed and cried along with the TV series FRIENDS. In every situation you find yourself, whether it’s job searching or at work, you can learn a thing or two from these well-known Friends characters! 1) Ross Geller Don’t bring your problems to work with you. Nothing is more unprofessional than speaking to your co-workers (especially a figure of authority) about the negative aspects of your personal life. Ross has anger issues and projected his anger towards his boss at work. Don’t be like Ross. Don’t cry over a sandwich. 2) Rachel Green Don’t assume that you will love every aspect of the job you are going for. Rachel thought she would never have to make coffee again, and yet she ended up doing the coffee runs for her new office. There is always going to be one or two things you would prefer not to do in your job role. However if you love the majority of your duties then go for it! 3) Chandler Bing Sometimes you are required to work with people who you would prefer not to spend your time with. However, you will need to swallow those feelings and focus on the work you are meant to be completing. What we also learn from Chandler that it is okay to face your fears. Remember when Chandler ran away from his wedding because he thought Monica was pregnant, but then later returned when he found a baby grow in the gift shop and decided “anything that small can’t be scary”. At first Chandler ran from his fears but decided to learn from them and face up to his responsibilities. 4) Monica Geller Never agree to take a job that you dread the thought of. This is wasting both your time and the employer’s time. It will also affect the other staff and their attitude as they may become hateful towards you if you are unmotivated and not doing your bit to contribute to the team. If you are already in a job you dislike then instead of suffering in silence, you need to figure about what is going wrong for you and talk to someone about it and see if anything can change, if it can’t, then maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. 5) Joey Tribianni The most important thing to remember about a job is to not be embarrassed by it. You are independent and earning your own money, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Joey tried to hide his job at the coffee house from the rest of the group due to the fact that he was embarrassed however when they all realised that he was an employee, they were nothing but supportive. 6) Phoebe Buffay Despite growing up living on the streets with no family or friends to support her, Phoebe managed to land herself a job as a masseuse and ended up being able to share an apartment with Monica. This motivation and willing that Phoebe shows can be transferred into employment and shows that as an employee you are able to do anything you put your mind to as long as you are motivated and willing to do so. Phoebe is the most motivated of the entire group, are you the Phoebe in your work place? Is there another TV show cast that can teach us about job searching? Let us know in the comments below!
Most people have heard of a CPC but what is it? A CPC, Certificate of Professional Competence, is the standards set by the European Union to ensure competency and proficiency of all professional drivers. It requires all drivers to complete 35 hours of training every 5 years. When a new driver completes their Cat C or Cat D training this includes a CPC qualification. So who does it apply to? If you drive any of the following you will need a CPC: Articulated lorries driver Tipper truck driver Bin lorry driver Heavy construction equipment driver Bus drivers – Both regional and local Coach drivers – Both regional and continental Did you know, you can be fined up to £1000 for driving professionally without a valid CPC. Where can you take your CPC? There are many training providers that offer CPC Training. You can find out more about Driver CPC courses here. If you're a professional driver looking for a new role, permanent work, temporary work or just extra shifts then Swanstaff Recruitment can help! We have work available across the UK. You can see our current jobs here or find and call your local branch here to find out more about what they can do to help you!
Everyone has those days at work where they feel bored or frustrated. It’s inevitable. But if you find yourself having more bad days than good then it may be time to look for a new job. Not sure if this is you? Have you noticed one or more of these tell-tale signs? The Monday Feeling Lots of people get the Monday blues, especially after they’ve had a fun weekend. However, you shouldn’t be dreading going to work or feeling anxious on Sunday evening. If you’re in the right job, you should be able to enjoy the time that you are not at work, without worrying about when you are next in. No Recognition This is a big one. Recognition can be anything from a thank you for doing something to pay rises or promotions. It can also include being consulted and being given the opportunity to learn new skills to develop in your role. If you feel ignored or underappreciated then it may be time to look for a workplace where you will feel valued. No Challenge If your role doesn’t challenge you then you will very likely become bored. If you find yourself clock watching or finding the role mindless then it may be worth looking at something else. No Future If you’re struggling to see a future at your company, either due to lack of development or nothing for you to move into then you may again find yourself bored. It’s important to have something to work towards and a clear goal in mind to motivate you. Without a plan for meaningful career development you may need to look for a new role. No Change If you’ve spoken to someone about needing things to change or concerns about your role and nothing has improved then it may be better to change your job rather than continue to try to change the way the company is working. If you’ve noticed one or more of these things then it may be worth you thinking about moving on. If you’d like a free confidential chat with one of our recruiters about how Swanstaff can help you find a new role, then you can find your local branch here.
Are you currently working with an agency and wondering if you’re on the right path? There are several reasons people choose to start agency work. Many people begin their careers working as a temp within an agency. There are many benefits to agency working which some people overlook, if you’re wondering whether this is for you then we are sure that once you’ve read the below you’ll be certain you’ve made the right choice! Better earning potential Agency work allows you to work as much as you like (within reason of course), allowing you to work less hours often for better pay! Flexibility By working with an agency you have the chance to be in control of your life. It may be that you already have other commitments outside of work so being able to work flexibly and choose hours that fit your lifestyle will enable you to build a career that suits you. Improve your skills Agency work allows you to work within different environments potentially for numerous companies which will help you build upon your skillset and make you more employable. You may even discover that you like working in a particular type of setting more than others and would like to further your career within it in the future. Weekly pay Working with an agency like Swanstaff will offer you the benefit of weekly pay. A payday every week, what could be better?! Opportunity If what you are really looking for is a permanent role then don’t rule out temping! Temping gives you that foot in the door into many respected businesses and if a permanent role is what you are aiming for then an agency will be able to help you find your perfect role while you temp. Now you know some of the main benefits of agency working you’re probably wondering if you’ve chosen the right agency for you. Swanstaff as an agency does more than just fill jobs; we go the extra mile for all of our candidates. We aim to exceed your expectations and wow you. If you are on the lookout for work then why not check out our vacancies page to see if we’ve got the perfect job for you!
With the release of Season 7 of Game of Thrones this weekend we've decided to think about the career lessons you can take from it. So maybe climbing the career ladder isn’t exactly like being Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms/King of the Andals and the First Men/Protector of the Realm. BUT getting your foot in the door of your dream company and getting into the job you really want could involve a few battles and facing some dragons of your own! So here are a few lessons we can all take from the most and least successful social climbers in Westeros and beyond! (Please be aware there are some spoilers if you aren't up to date) Networking is key Now I’m the first to say I don’t think much of Littlefinger, but he is pretty clever at using his network to help him climb. After all, his connections got him sent to the Vale and a title or two. It was his ability to help people that made him these friends, some of which owed him favours for that help. Maybe you know someone who knows someone? The lesson to be learnt here is, help your connections. They may not have something you need now, but they could in the future so help where you can! Learn to prioritise As much as it is admirable to hold onto a company, project or person you care about, if it isn’t working knowing when to stop is almost as important as fighting onwards. This doesn’t have to mean the end of your pet project; it may just mean coming back to it at a later date. It’s like the struggle of Ser Jorah Mormont. Though I feel for him and respect his determination to get back into the good books of the woman he obviously loves, it is quite clear he should be channelling his efforts into others things (like finding the cure for greyscale and not dying!). I’m not saying abandon every difficult project, but definitely learn to prioritise. When leading make sure to assemble a good team (that’s not out to kill you) The most important thing to remember is trust matters. Trust is not a common commodity in the Seven Kingdoms but it could make all the difference for some of the most beloved characters. Take Daenarys and her team of advisers for example. Daario is all about the ego, Jorah was too in love with her to make a rational decision especially if it came down to her safety or the safety of her people, and though Barristan seems loyal, who can she really trust? If you are constantly questioning if someone is using you to climb, or suggesting things for their own gain, then maybe it’s time to find a different team. Don’t annoy/cut off your network Although I recommended assembling a team that you can trust in the previous point, make sure you don’t do a Cersei. When she ends up running the country, she soon becomes paranoid and cuts off people that could be valuable allies, even if they have not given her a reason not to be trusted. This does nothing for her and she’s soon out of favour and into a cell! Instead of constantly questioning motives without cause, make sure to cultivate your network and provide value to your connections. This could be in the form of industry news, introducing connections to one another or writing articles about topics that could be of interest. Always have an “elevator pitch” ready You never know when you could run into someone who could give you an opportunity or offer you the chance you have been waiting for. As Tyrion (who I’m pretty sure has had more close encounters with death than any other character on the show) has proved, talking someone into believing you’re worth keeping alive (or hiring!) can really be life changing. Always try to have a pitch prepared to talk your way into that dream job and don’t forget it’s ok to sing your own praises once in a while. Can you think of any lessons you could take from Game of Thrones that might relate to your career? If you're looking for a career you won't end up losing your head over, get in touch with our recruiters at your local branch here or check out all our jobs here.
No matter what your age or experience is, a phone interview can be a daunting task. It can be a real challenge to read the other person and react to them based solely on their voice. It’s easy to let nerves get the better of you when you desperately want to make a good impression. So how can you make sure you have the best phone interview you can? Cut out all distractions and focus If you are distracted then you might have a delayed response to questions. You may also not hear the whole question which could end up looking as though you are not interested in the role you are interviewing for. If this does happen then speak calmly and politely asking them to repeat the question as you didn’t quite hear it. Remember to smile Believe it or not, people can hear whether or not you’re smiling in your voice. If you are trying to sound positive and animated, then remember to smile. If you’re speaking about something serious then adjust your expression accordingly. You wouldn’t believe the difference it can make! Research about the organisation or job Make sure to fully research the role and company you are interviewing for to be sure you can answer any questions they ask. Being able to relate your answers to the company you are interviewing with shows that you care and are showing interest in your role. Talk slowly When people are worried or nervous they tend to speak faster and are harder to understand. It is important to think quickly but speak slowly when responding to questions. Thank you email Don’t forget to email the employer you interviewed with, thanking them for their time and consideration. This should be done the day of the interview and addressed to anyone who was involved in or on the call. Are there any other tips you can think of that would help someone doing a phone interview? If you’re looking for work then get in touch with your local branch today!
There’s a lot of blogs and advice out there to tell you what you should say and do in interviews but what are some things you need to avoid? These 5 things can negatively impact your chances of getting a job so have a read to make sure you don’t make them! Appear uninterested 55% percent of recruiters say this is a big deal-breaker in an interview. Employers want somebody who will bring energy and focus to their team, and will engage with the job. Being disinterested in an interview or failing to show any sort of enthusiasm only tells the employer that you do not have the passion and drive they want an employee to have. Employers will see this as an example of how you would act on the job itself and will know they can easily find someone better. Talk negatively about current or previous employers Even mentioning about previous employers issues from previous employers is a major turn off for 50% of employers. Companies won’t want to employ someone that blames previous employers for mistakes whether they are the fault of the company of not. If they are asking about a previous company you were with then it is best to say that you are leaving due to lack of progression or looking for a change. Dressing inappropriately Before thinking employers are playing the fashion police instead of interviewing you about your skills, remember they are doing this for a reason. Employers will look at little things like wearing clothes that are too tight or too loose, too dressy or too casual, or wearing brands and logos in professional settings is a bad sign. During an interview they are not only looking to see how you will fit into their team but also evaluating how you would appear to their customers and future clients. Not having researched the company If you don’t appear to know anything about the role or company then it shows a lack of interest in the job and can instantly put them off you. It makes you look like you do not seriously want to the position. Make sure you research as much as possible before the interview. Ask generic questions Lack of knowledge about the organisation or role you applied will lead to you not being able to able applicable questions and prove that you know what you are talking about. This would lead the interviewer to believe that you would show a similarly limited interest in your role. Are there any other things you think should be avoided in an interview? If you’re wondering how to stay motivated during your job search check this blog out. Or if you have an interview coming up then check out these 5 essential items you need to take to an interview! Looking for work? Register with your local Swanstaff branch here!
Written by Stephanie Taylor, Business and Marketing Apprentice at Swanstaff Recruitment. In 2014 I completed my GCSE’s and then came to the decision just like other people at that age, whether I would go into a sixth form or go to college. Just like most people I decided the best option for me was to carry on at the place I was studying and go into their Sixth form. I chose to study 3 subjects: Media studies, Film Studies and Art as I am a very creative person and I feel that these really reflected my personality and allowed me to carry on studying the subjects I enjoyed. After finishing my two years of Sixth form I decided to start apply to agencies to get an apprenticeship, which isn’t the most obvious choice. Even though all my friends were going to university I didn’t feel like that was for me. I prefer to learn hands on rather than on paper. I knew the path I wanted to follow was in digital marketing or advertising and after researching I realised it wasn’t necessary for me to go to University to follow this dream. Although many people do not see this as the typical choice for an 18 year old to make I knew this was right for me. Reasons why I chose an apprenticeship over university: An apprenticeship appealed to me as I realised that a lot of employers are looking for experience over qualifications these days. I knew I wanted to work in digital marketing and after looking into jobs they were always asking for experience which university just did not offer me. One of the biggest things that swayed me towards doing an apprenticeship was the fact that you don’t get into any debt because you are earning whilst you’re learning. Apprenticeships are designed with the help of employers to offer a structured programme that coaches you through the skills you need to be successful in that particular industry; this allows you to get the practical and relevant experience you need. I found this more helpful to me as I am a practical person, I would rather be shown how to do something and try doing it myself than read about how to do it in a book. Having an apprenticeship allows you to receive the support and guidance you need when you do not understand how to do something. Unlike at university when after a lecture, if you don’t understand something the only real instant communication would be via email. An apprenticeship allows you to strengthen your CV with the transferable skills you learn. They are often useful and adaptable to most industries as your ability to interact within a social and professional environment will develop with everyday you spend at work which is a key reason why employers are keen on hiring apprentices. After going for many interviews with agencies and having interviews for roles at companies such as Google, I managed to land myself an interview at Swanstaff Recruitment. I instantly knew that this was somewhere I would love to work. The employees were friendly, bubbly and knew how to make the working day so much more enjoyable. When researching into Swanstaff I saw how many charity events they were involved in as well as seeing all the different things Swanstaff do as a company it made me even more enthusiastic to get the job. Throughout my time at Swanstaff everyday has been entertaining, everyone works extremely hard which appeals to me as I had been to interviews where they didn’t seem interested in pushing me exceed expectations. I am so glad I decided to go for an apprenticeship rather than going to university especially when talking to friends that did go to university and hearing all the problems they have had since being there. I cannot wait to learn more about Swanstaff and develop my digital marketing skills whilst growing within this organisation. Photo: Left to right: Steph dressed up for our Children in Need Disney and Dapper Day. Steph and at The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies Awards Evening. Steph Go-karting for a charity event) Are you currently looking for an apprenticeship? At Swanstaff we are constantly on the look out for new talent. If you think you've got what it takes to make it as an Internal Recruitment Apprentice then we may have the role for you! Get in touch with Lucy from our Talent Team by emailing her with your CV and a brief description as to why you think you could be a great swan: email@example.com
We all know how it is. That rush of nerves on the first day of a new job. Even the most confident of us falter when it comes to stepping into the office on the first day! So how can you make it easier and give that new starter everything they need to make the first day go well? We’ve put together a list! Notepad and pen It’s a basic but a good one and something you should give them as soon as they are shown their desk. It can really help make someone feel comfortable to have somewhere they can make notes or write lists of things they need to know about the office. A handwritten welcome note or card Depending on the size of your company this could be anything from a card signed by everyone in the office to a handwritten note from their manager or the CEO welcoming them to the business. Access to perks Ok, so the first day is a bit overwhelming and at times they may even wonder why they signed up to this so give them access and explain the perks system. This is a great motivator and reminds your newbie why they wanted to join you. At Swanstaff we use the Perkbox app and explain it as part of our induction so people know about it and can use it. The tools to do their job Whether it’s a phone, a laptop, a uniform or business cards it is best to have these ready for the day the person starts to help them settle in quickly and feel comfortable. Comprehensive induction there is nothing worse than getting to a new company and not being able to understand the various aspects of the business. Here at Swanstaff we have a full induction for new staff which includes a video introduction to the company, powerpoint presentations about what it is like to work here, a welcome to the business and segments from managers of each department, explaining what they do and how it will relate to the new starters role. A first week buddy Choose someone the person will be working with or near to guide them and answer any questions. This can be anything from how to work the printer or kettle to where to find stationary. An office tour This should be something their buddy should do when they first get in. Showing the new starter where everything is will not only be a great way to make them more relaxed and comfortable but it will also allow you to introduce them personally to people as they go around the office. Make their first lunchtime good Whether this is taking them out to lunch or eating lunch with them to chat, make it special. We take our new starters out for lunch and use it as an opportunity for them to meet people in the other areas of the company. Send an email or announce their arrival This may not be the most fun part for a new starter if they are quite introverted but it is good to announce them and introduce them to the team so they can be made to feel welcome. At Swanstaff we send an email around and encourage responses welcoming them to the company. Schedule an end of the day and end of the week meeting It can be really helpful to a new starter to be able to meet with their line manager for a few minutes at the end of their first day so they can ask any questions that may have come up and speak to them about how they feel their first day has gone. Another can be set for the end of the first week to see how they are finding things and if there is anything they need. Once your new starter is settled in, we're sure you will want to keep them happy and smiling. If you need ideas, then check out our blog on the 10 ways we made our employees smile this week!
Job hunting is never easy but you may have noticed an increased number of jobs about in winter. This is because some companies will be trying to use up their recruitment budget before the end of the year. Some will offer jobs on a temporary to permanent contract, offering you a contract that will allow you both to decide if the job is right for you before making you permanent. If you’ve been thinking about looking for a new job but are planning to wait till January because you believe there will be more jobs then it may be worth checking these benefits of starting a new job in December first! Christmas is often a very social and positive time of year. It’s great for bonding and building relationships with colleagues. Christmas parties and get togethers will give you the chance to get to know the other staff in a more informal setting. Client facing roles will find December brilliant for introducing yourself and meeting them. People are often more relaxed and expect the visits and drops with gifts so are more open to seeing you. In contrast, some businesses find December to be a quiet period so this will give you the opportunity to get your training done and build an understanding of the business before things pick up again. So whether you’ve been debating that move for a while or just feel like you might like a new job for the New Year, go for it! If you are on the lookout for work then why not check out our current vacancies page to see if we’ve got the perfect job for you!
Photographs This is always a question that seems to loom on candidates minds. Do you, don’t you? Statistic’s say that there is an 88% rejection rate for CV’s that contain a photograph. Of course there is no definitive rule against using a photograph of yourself on your CV but it’s best to take the safer route and not unless you are applying for a role in which you are specifically requested to include one. Unnecessary personal information This is anything from your age, sex, marital status or even your religious views. Don’t overshare! A recruiter also doesn’t need to know every single hobby you’ve had since you were 10 years old. Keep it professional to leave no room for prior screening. Irrelevant experience Your CV should be targeted to each specific role you applying for so remember to include more detail in previous relevant job roles. If you include experience that isn’t pertinent to the role you are applying for it will make the recruiter feel like you are not serious and haven’t considered the role. Incorrect tone This is something that many people don’t always take into consideration when writing. Stick to the positive’s, there’s no need to highlight the negative’s. Communicate your commitment to role by writing with confidence but also remembering not to let this turn into arrogance, let your experience speak for itself. Irrelevant achievements Don’t waste a recruiter’s time by telling them your life story. Only achievements that are relevant to the role or show skills that are applicable to the certain role you are applying for. Salary expectations This is something that should not be put on your CV. Save all conversation about this till when you are in the interview process of your application. Lengthy CV’s As previously said, don’t include unnecessary details. It’s simply a waste of time. The average CV is normally no longer than 2 pages. Be concise! It should be easy to navigate so don’t overdress your CV. When your CV lands on a recruiters desk there is a very small window of time for you to leave a lasting impression that gets them to pick up the phone and meet the person beyond the words on a page. Why you left your last job This is something that does not need to be enclosed on your CV; this is something that will possibly be asked at the interview stages of your application. Fake information Don’t lie! Recruiters are not stupid. Remember this is what they are trained to do. A recruiter’s job is to find the best candidate possible for the role they need to fill. If they don’t catch you out in a lie before they’ve even spoke to you by simply typing your name into google you’ll be certain they will once they’ve asked you about it whether you realise this or not. It’s simple, just don’t do it! An inappropriate email address I'd hope that this one would be common sense but an unbelievable 76% of CV’s are ignored due to inappropriate emails. Yes, it was probably ok for you to have ‘player_04@...com’ or ‘princesssophie@...co.uk’ as your first email address but when trying to address someone in a professional manner it’s best to have an email address that simply states your name and use a sensible email provider. Hopefully you’ll have found some these tips helpful in improving you current CV. Remember every CV and role are different but with any luck these tips should help you bag your next role.
Well even though the sun has decided to put in an appearance while I’m writing this it’s clear that the evenings are drawing in and it’s probably time we all accept that Autumn is on its way. Though it’s getting darker earlier, it’s not as gloomy a prospect as you might imagine. With no sunny afternoons and BBQ’s in the garden to distract you, what better time to invest your time in looking for that job you’ve always wanted? Still not feeling motivated? Not to worry, here are my top 4 tips for kick starting your autumnal career transformation so you’ll be blossoming in your new role by Spring! Make the most of those wet weekends and early sunsets. You’ve almost certainly got a little more time on your hands since going out in the evening has become an indoor only activity! Now is the perfect time to make a plan. Maybe set aside one or two evenings every week to your job search. FALL back in love with your career. Are you tired of your job or didn’t like your old job? Maybe the hours don’t suit anymore or the job isn’t what it used to be. They best way to fall back in love with your career is to sit down and write the things you like about your job and the things you don’t. Next think about a time you were happiest in your career. What’s changed since then? When beginning your job search it helps to know exactly what you are after and what things you need to avoid so that you don’t become unhappy in your next role. So what’s first with your search? Updating your CV! Like the spring clean before summer, autumn is the perfect time to spruce up your CV. Add new skills and qualifications you might have gained and update your work history. If you will be applying for a range of different roles it is worth taking the time to come up with a few different versions of your CV tailored to different positions. You can also take this time to set up a cover letter template to use when needed. So now you know what you want, you have the CV set up to get it and it’s time for you to start looking at all those job boards. Registering with as many agencies as possible will get you the maximum exposure. Autumn is a great time for job hunting, especially for temporary work in the run up to Christmas for some industries. So that’s my tops tips for your autumn job hunt. What would your tips be and do you agree that autumn is a great time of year for your career?
So... you've bagged an employement offer, that's great well done! Although there's one thing wrong... it's not the salary you was hoping for or think you deserve, right? Not to worry! Follow our easy step by step guide on how to negotiate your salary!
So you’ve managed to get through that interview. You’re feeling pretty good. Pretty marvellous. One might even say splendiferous considering the fact it’s Roald Dahl Day. Now what? How do you follow up from this? Here are 5 golden ticket tips from a Roald Dahl classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for how to behave and what to do after an interview. 1.Gratitude. Charlie is grateful for everything he has and everything he receives. He always say thank you and so should you! Take the time to write a short email or letter thanking the interviewer for their time. For example: Dear----- I just wanted to say thank you for seeing me earlier and interviewing me for the role of ------. I really enjoyed meeting and speaking to you about the role. If you have any further questions you’d like to ask me, please feel free to give me a call on ------ or pop me an email and I’d be happy to answer them. I look forward to hearing from you Thank you again 2.“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Believing in yourself is a vital part of searching for a job. If you don’t believe in your ability to do well in a role, how will you convince an employer you can do it? Stay positive, even after an interview. 3.“We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that and reverse it.” Now is not the time to rest on your laurels! Whether the interview went well or not quite as planned, it is worth continuing to look. Keep applying for jobs and looking at companies you might like to work for. You want to keep your options open, instead of pinning them on one role. 4.“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” Don’t take things to seriously or too much to heart. Rejections are hard but it doesn’t mean you are a bad candidate. It just means they found someone more suitable for that specific vacancy 5.“Tremendous things are in store for you! Wonderful things await you!” I am a great believer in the motto, “everything happens for a reason”. You might not get a specific vacancy but something better for you will come along and you will be free to grab it with both hands! Can you think of any other advice you could take from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Happy Roald Dahl Day!
When you are looking for a new job it is easy to get caught up in designing the perfect CV ... this should lead to lots of interviews and then you need to be prepared to really impress your prospective employer. Sometimes they may want to see you at short notice so it’s really important that you prepare yourself early and start thinking about what you may be asked and how you will present yourself… it can be a pretty daunting experience for some people so we thought we would put together some tips so that you can arrive at your interview with confidence.
For those who haven't yet heard of LinkedIn and aren't aware of what it is; in a nutshell it is an online social CV you create for youself. You can connect with many different people just like social media platforms, however it is a professional site, be wary not to post things you wouldn't want your boss seeing. If you're looking for a new job, LinkedIn is a good place to start your search. At least 500 million people use the network, and there are more than 10 million active job listings, Fortune magazine reported in 2017. If you're wondering how to use LinkedIn to find a job, you're best to follow our steps below:
Are you on the lookout for your next role? In a time when technology has become more integral to our daily lives, are you using it to your advantage in your job search? There are so many ways your phone can help you! Job Search Apps There are plenty of apps out there that can help you find a job. One great app - if we do say so ourselves! – is the Swanstaff app. Full of great content the app not only shows you all the latest jobs so you can apply on the go, but it also includes fantastic blogs about job searching and career advice to help you stand out from the crowd. Current candidates with Swanstaff can get alerts for new shifts and be the first to hear about them and also easily share their availability with their branch. The app is all about saving you time and making your life easier! So how can you get this great app? Just click this link to go straight to the App Store and download it for free! Other apps job seekers can benefit from include CV Builder and Pocket Resume. Both of these help you to build a CV using their templates to make sure you include all the correct information. There are also brilliant apps like Interview Prep Questions which show you a typical interview question and give you tips on how to answer it. Emails Making sure your email address and signature are professional is so important. A silly, embarrassing or inappropriate email address can really affect how the company you are applying to looks at you. If you don’t have a one that sounds professional, it is definitely worth creating one. With your email signature try to make sure it is not just the generic, “sent from my iphone”. You can include your name, a contact number and links to professional social profiles such as LinkedIn. You should also use your emails to confirm details of interviews and to send a thank afterwards. A thank you email is a great way to thank the interviewer for their time and make sure they remember you. Some job boards allow you to set up alerts for when jobs you are interested in are posted. Make sure all your job related emails go to the same email address. This will allow you to easily search in the inbox or separate emails into folders depending on which roles they are regarding. LinkedIn This is another app but slightly different to the one’s previously mentioned. LinkedIn is a professional social network that is built for making business connections which will definitely assist in your job search. You can use it to connect with the HR teams and Directors from the companies you want to work for. You can also connect with Recruiters who work in your industry and area who may be able to help you in finding your dream role. There are plenty of other ways your phone can help in your job search. If you can think of any we haven’t mentioned here that really helped you, please let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to download our app for all the latest jobs, shifts and career advice here!
Twitter has been around for over a decade now, and it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon. It's a great platform to express your voice and share your opinions. It's also a good place to engage with potential employers. Here's our simple guide to help you use Twitter to find your dream career.
As Facebook is a social media site in which majority of people have for personal use, you need to be wary of what you are posting if you decide to use it to job search. Some people create a second profile which they use purely to job search, this means that they do not share/post anything that an employer would deem unprofessional or that they wouldn't want their boss seeing. Follow our step by step guide on how to use Facebook to job search!
Apprenticeships have become more and more recognised as a valid career path in recent years. Here at Swanstaff we are dedicated to creating opportunities which is why we have some apprentices on staff. In honour of National Apprenticeship Week our Digital Marketing Apprentice, Amy, wrote the following piece about some famous faces who used to be apprentices. Some may surprise you! The Taste Of Success Firstly, Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver, both nationally recognized, award-winning television chefs and personalities. That’s not all they have in common. They both started out their careers as catering apprentices! Looking Good Next we have Alexander McQueen, a famous and well respected fashion designer who started out as an apprentice tailor! Also John Frieda, celebrity hairdresser and maker of hair care products, began his career doing an apprenticeship in hairdressing. Funny How It Goes Successful actor, comedian, author and all round funny man Billy Connolly left school aged 15 to take up an apprenticeship as a welder in a shipyard. Another surprising person who started out in a shipyard (and not even just any shipyard, the same Glasgow shipyard as Connolly!) is Sir Alex Ferguson who worked as an apprentice tool worker while playing football part time at the start of his career. I just want to know what they were feeding them to produce such talent! Bring It, Sing It Which hugely famous singer songwriter trained as an electricians apprentice before he became a star? Elvis Presley who was still able to make sparks fly on the stage! Not to mention perhaps one of the best guitarists of all time, Eric Clapton, started out doing a vocational course in stained glass design before he turned to music. Showing Them How It’s Done Leonardo de Vinci, the artist who created the most famous painting in history, ‘Mona Lisa’ started as an apprentice painter! I can’t help but wonder whether his mentor had any idea how great his student would become? Something in the Water Film star Sir Michael “You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” Caine trained as a plumber’s apprentice before he hit the big screen. Top actors Bob Hoskins and Gabriel Byrne were also trainee plumbers. But if you’ve got a plumbing emergency, maybe you should give the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, a call. Sure, he might try to remedy your problem by eating the local wildlife, but the godfather of heavy metal actually started out as a trainee plumber. Admittedly, his plumbing career was cut short when he ended up in prison. Plumbing’s loss, music’s gain I suppose! Green As Grass Finally, before he became an award winning gardener and author, green fingered celebrity, Alan Titchmarsh was a gardening apprentice with Ilkley Council. Developing his talents and also working in gardening journalism. So it would seem, apprenticeships really do give you the skills to succeed! Do you know any famous apprentices? Did any of these surprise you?
Preparing for an interview can be a scary process. But if you follow these simple tips then you’re one step closer to your dream job!
Are you a NURSE considering agency work? Here’s a few things you might like to know… Don’t forget, if you join Swanstaff Recruitment by 31st March 2016 then you will be entitled to; a free uniform, a free DBS check and a £250 bonus* *PAYABLE AFTER YOU HAVE WORKED 200 HOURS. Contact your local branch today for more information.
We recently published our article “what role does outsourcing have in recruitment” and promised you more information on how RPO can benefit your company. Our full white paper is due out on April 1st but we thought we would give you a preview… Below are 6 key benefits of RPO and HR outsourcing: Increased Effectiveness One of the most important benefits of RPO is scalability. Many employers have vastly fluctuating recruitment needs, due to industry trends and seasonal activity. If that’s your business then RPO can scale up for busy periods and scale back down at other times. It is also useful for companies experiencing high growth who need help scaling their recruiting capacity to meet demand. Mitigating Risk With RPO recruiting, every element of recruitment can be monitored by your RPO supplier – allowing comprehensive tracking, reporting and auditing of the recruitment function. This allows companies to have a fully transparent system and feel assured that high standard of training and compliance are in place and that their processes protect both them and employees. Improved Efficiency – reduced recruiting costs This is one of the top reasons why businesses choose RPO solutions; it is also one of the biggest benefits of RPO. Many companies will spend a lot of money on head-hunters or trying to recruit in house and taking staff away from their other duties. Particularly for companies with a high turnover rate this can waste money and resources. A significant advantage of an RPO agreement is the reduction in time to fill a vacancy – which improves the overall efficiency of the business. Increased Candidate Quality A great candidate is more than just experience and qualifications. Things like personality and company culture/team fit are vital. If hiring managers are pressed for time to fill a position or have a huge volume of applications to sift through, they may not look at these additional things which can help you know whether a candidate will have longevity. A good RPO supplier will take time to assess your company culture, skills sets for roles and special requirements. These will then be at the centre of their candidate sourcing process. This also results in an enhancement of your employer brand and values. Detailed Insights – Analytics and reporting to aid with prompt decision making RPO suppliers will utilise specialist technology platforms, like Swanstaff’s S-Recruiter which allows for “real time” reporting at a click of a button. With features such as the ability to authorise timesheets, have visibility of hiring costs and generate detailed analysis reports your hiring process becomes seamlessly integrated and stress-free to monitor. A Bespoke, Tailor-Made Hiring Process A fantastic advantage of an RPO is having a dedicated account manager and support team that will look at every aspect of your hiring process. From company culture audits, to candidate sourcing, to bespoke induction programmes, an RPO really can be a “one-stop” solution. Equally, you may only wish to outsource certain stages of your recruitment process and there are flexible solutions available, whatever your needs. Here at Swanstaff Recruitment we have the capacity to create bespoke, comprehensive RPO services. We can support you at every stage of the hiring process, including proactive candidate sourcing, competitive market mapping, initial screenings, interview scheduling (including travel and meeting room arrangements), interview feedback, contract negotiation, new hire on-boarding, and post-placement follow up. We will work in partnership with you to create a recruitment structure which is perfect for your team and organisation. To find out more click here.
Social media and social networking are popular tools right now on both a personal and a business level. It’s human nature to want to connect and so we are all doing it more and more often. Online offers such an easy avenue to make connections on platforms where we can be introduced to a wider network of people. This is perhaps why a lot of job seekers are taking their job hunt social! If you are unsure of how to start your job search online here are our top tips: USING LINKEDIN FOR YOUR JOB SEARCH Create a detailed LinkedIn profile. Don’t forget to fill in as much as you can. This can act like an online CV and by using keywords you can help potential employers and recruiters to find you. Follow the business pages of companies you’d like to work for. Not only will you be able to see if/when they advertise vacancies but you may also learn some useful things about the company that you can mention in an interview. Network! Network! Network! The best part of LinkedIn is the fact that you can network with a number of people very easily. If you are looking for work in a specific sector, you can connect with recruiters and industry professionals to aid in your search. The best way to do this would be to use the search function to find a recruiter, for example “HGV Recruiter Kent”. Once you have found one you can ask to connect with them. It may be worth at this point personalising your message and saying something like “Hi ——, I am a HGV2 Driver in Kent and I’m currently looking for work. Check out my profile and if you think you have any vacancies that might suit me, please let me know. Many thanks —–“ Get your colleagues/ex-colleagues to endorse our skills our post recommendations for you on your page. USING FACEBOOK FOR JOB HUNTING Make sure your profile is “employer friendly”. Try to either hide inappropriate photos or make sure you are not tagged in them – or you could change your privacy settings so that only your profile image and banner image are visible to people you aren’t connected with. Also make sure that nothing on your profile is controversial or political as this can sometimes lead to bias when someone is looking you up. Use Facebook to let family and friends know you are job seeking. You never know who might know someone who can help you or can share a vacancy they have heard about. Facebook groups! We cannot sing the praises of these enough. You can search for Facebook groups for example “Jobs in Kent” and this will come up with a number of results. Join any relevant groups. Then you can see people posting current vacancies in your area or alternatively post yourself. However, there are a few things to need to know: – When posting keep it professional “want work”, “need work now” and “work?” are not going to cut it! Instead try to be more detailed. “Hi, my name is Susie and I’m a Healthcare Assistant. I have three years’ experience in a care home where I sometimes covered for the deputy care home manager when needed and have worked as Team Leader for the past 6 months. I have a Health and Social Care Level 3 qualification. I’m looking for full time work in Kent as I can drive and am willing to travel. I have references on request. Please feel free to message me here or click this link for my LinkedIn profile to find out more about my experience.” – Engage with other posts. If you see someone else looking for the same type of work as you, click the small arrow in the top right corner of the post and “turn on notifications” to see when people comment on it and what they say. – Engage with Recruiters. A lot of recruiters post within these types of groups. It is usually quite obvious when it’s a recruiter posting. If one posts about something similar to the type of work you are looking for, you can comment and say “I know you are looking for Support Workers but do you have any Healthcare Assistant Jobs at the moment?” It can’t hurt to ask! HOW TO MAKE YOUR TWITTER PROFILE WORK FOR YOUR JOB SEARCH! Put your job pitch in your Twitter bio. For example “Hi I’m Susie, Healthcare Assistant, Mother, Friend, Looking for work in the #Kent area” You can let your personality show through if you would like to but remember to keep it professional and try to avoid using slang. Use a professional-looking avatar. Try to get a professional headshot type photo – like the one you would use for LinkedIn – or pick a photo that shows you in a good light. Not falling out of a bar! Tweet about your job search. Letting people know you are looking can really help your search. However if your profile is private, people aren’t going to be able to see your tweets and if you are job hunting whilst still in work you don’t want to publically tweet in case your current employer sees it. Include a link to an online CV in your bio. The best way to do this would be to link to your LinkedIn profile. You will need to make sure this is complete and up to date. It should be detailed enough for an employer to be able to decide if they would like to contact you. Some of these tips may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people make these mistakes! Do you have any other tips you’d give to someone looking for work and trying to use social media? To find out all the jobs Swanstaff currently have available in your area, please visit the jobs page on our website here.
National Apprenticeship Week – A Business Administration Apprentice Story The following is written by Tamzyn Roscoe, a Business Administration Apprentice here at Swanstaff Recruitment. I decided to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to get straight into working rather than continuing education at college or University. After looking into it, I discovered an apprenticeship would be the best option, as I could still get my qualifications whilst also gaining experience. It’s a great way to get the skills employers are always asking for, while still getting paid and gaining a nationally recognised qualification along the way. A day in the life of a Business Administration Apprentice here at Swanstaff Recruitment can include anything from answering the phone at reception and directing the calls to in depth client mapping tasks. I can find myself posting job adverts for our branches one minute and completing coverage reports and data cleansing the next. My role is so varied and constantly evolves to meet the needs of the business. Nadine Agasi, PA to the Directors and Tamzyn’s manager said: “Tamzyn really is a credit to Swanstaff. This is partly to do with her personality and work ethic, and partly thanks to her apprenticeship. Throughout the course she has gained confidence and skills to become a valuable member of this team. As someone who was initially sceptical about apprenticeships and not sure they would produce the right sort of person, I have been thoroughly converted! If you are currently considering taking on an apprentice, I would highly recommend it.” If you’d like find out more about apprenticeships click here If you’d like to find an apprenticeship, you can search here To find out more about the company I work for Swanstaff Recruitment, you can click here.
The following is written by Nathan Shutt, an Accountancy Apprentice here at Swanstaff. A normal work day for an Accounting apprentice like myself consists of inputting the day’s cash into the accounting software, collating all the relevant remittances and reconciling the bank once all the cash has been input. I would then either go on to doing any invoice queries that are outstanding or I would chase any clients for PO’s we are waiting for. I would also enter any invoices that need to go onto a 3rd party system around this. Some of my day would be dealing with any new client clearances that the branches may have during the day, which means I need to create the necessary client accounts and link them up so when the invoices are generated they get billed to the correct account. Another responsibility I have is to take calls for the Credit Control department throughout the whole day for any client to relay queries to ourselves and then I can deal with them accordingly. In the afternoon, I would either continue with any remaining queries/PO’s outstanding or if there was none to do, I would instead be inputting and scanning in the days cheques received in the post. If it is the latter half of the week, I would start checking the week’s invoices for any errors, seeing if they can be corrected and if not enter them onto the error log report. After all the invoices have been checked, I scan them into our emails to be sent out by the automated invoicing software. As it gets to the end of the day, I finish up on any last minute queries that need to be dealt with and I retype any invoices that need it, for PO purposes or general invoicing structure. Finally, before I leave for the day I tidy up on a bit of filing to keep myself organised and set up tasks for tomorrow If you’d like find out more about apprenticeships click here. If you’d like to find an apprenticeship, you can search here. To find out more about the company I work for Swanstaff Recruitment, you can click here.
National Apprenticeship Week – My Story The following is written by our Marketing Apprentice, Amy. As you may or may not know, this week is National Apprenticeship Week. I’ve decided this might be a good time to share my story. It took a long time for me to work out what I wanted to do when I “grew up” but essentially for me it boiled down to a love of creativity and writing, which led to the BTEC Media course I took at college. After I had completed the course I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next, so I ended up as an Office Administrator in an Estate Agent. Whilst I loved the people and the world of work, I knew this wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. A number of people suggested I go to University, but I wanted money and independence rather than a mountain of debt. I know there’s more to Uni than debt – for a lot of people it’s really important on a social and educational level – but I knew it wasn’t for me. This was when I discovered Apprenticeships. My parents were very supportive and thought they were a great idea, which was brilliant as I knew a lot of people whose parents didn’t really understand them. I knew right away the hands-on style of working that apprenticeships offered was for me. Earning, learning and no debt; it was perfect! I took my Level 2 Apprenticeship in Social Media for Business at Springfield Education and Training Ltd, before moving to Swanstaff Recruitment for my Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Throughout both levels of my Apprenticeship I have gained knowledge, skills, and experience; both of marketing and the way businesses are run in general. I feel like they have really given me the opportunity to flourish and develop personally and professionally. My confidence has grown significantly and I love being a member of a dynamic team. I am trusted with tasks and projects that I can plan and really take pride in. I feel very fortunate to have found a career that I enjoy so much. Anyone who says an apprenticeship is just about making teas and coffees (though I do make a great cuppa!) has clearly never experienced one. The best thing about my job is working with great people who really believe in my abilities and encourage me every step of the way. I have even been lucky enough to take part in charity events, attend awards evenings and go to parties. It’s a real experience to be an apprentice and not just work wise! If you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing about University then I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship as another valid option. An apprenticeship won’t stop you from going to university in the future but it may help you decide exactly what you want to do, so that you can pick a course you know you’ll enjoy. If you’d like find out more about apprenticeships click here If you’d like to find an apprenticeship, you can search here To find out more about the company I work for Swanstaff Recruitment, you can click here
New Year is a time to make promises and resolutions, and for job seekers they often think “New Year, New Career”. So what is the best resolution for job seekers to make in 2017? “Never stop Networking” In a world that has become social media focused it is easy to forget how you can use this to your advantage when job hunting. Did you know that 93% of Companies use social media in their Hiring process? So how can you maximise your chances of being spotted amongst the thousands of other social media users? Freshen up your LinkedIn profile ensure all your details are up to date, provide a number in your profile for recruiters to call, publish articles and share content that shows you are passionate about your career. Attend seminars, classes and networking events relevant to your sector or businesses you work in You never know who you will meet there and the skills you learn can be hugely beneficial to put on your CV. A great example of a class you could attend would be the free sessions run by Zoe Cairns and ZC Social Media - http://zcsocialmedia.com/all-events/ - A huge variety of businesses attend these and teach your skills which are sure to help you with using social media. If you aren’t local to Kent, there should be an agency running similar events near you! Let people know you’re job hunting Obviously, if you already have a job it might be worth keeping it quiet from work colleagues but you can definitely tell people you trust. You never know who might know someone that can help you. Be pro-active Don’t just sit and wait for roles, search for specialist recruiters and companies you may like to work for. Reach out to them and let them know you are job seeking and interested. Don’t pin your hopes on one role Although it’s good to feel confident, make sure you apply for a number of suitable roles and keep yourself open to looking until you have an offer. Good luck with your Job Search!
"I found it heartening when the members of the panel referenced the good relationship they had with Swanstaff and then mentioned Lucy by name. It was obvious that they felt they had received a very acceptable level of service historically from Lucy personally, and from Swanstaff generally. I have no reservation at all in commending Lucy for her dedication to me during the process. And now that I have settled in position, she still keeps in touch with me, displaying genuine interest in how I am faring at my new role. Thanks Lucy, you are a star!"
"I would firstly like to thank you for giving me so much work for the next month, I've been struggling for the past few months trying to get my job back in care. This means so much to me I'm so happy you changed my life I'm so excited I can't wait to work my first shift tomorrow"
"I’m really grateful you have been professional and made me feel at ease throughout this job searching process and Swanstaff made it really easy for me to feel welcomed at the agency."
I have used many agencies in the past few months and can honestly say that yourself and colleges did an excellent job in keeping me informed all the way with feedback from interviews which I haven’t from any other agency’s. You and your team have always been there to answer any questions or queries and it is me that should be thanking you for all the work you have put in and selecting me for this position.
"100% Satisfaction, it was a really good experience for me. I can highly recommend Swanstaff Recruitment agency. They are really professional, I didn't have to wait every day for a call they planned everything earlier so I could work around my shifts. One big thank you for you all"
Emily, Thanks again for all your help. Can I just say I have been very impressed with all that you have done for me. I have applied for many roles over the last month and the communication I have received from you has been excellent. It goes along way as most people I have dealt with never got back to me at all so thanks again.
"During a lengthy recruitment process, Tom was in touch regularly and provided any input he could in order to help me as a candidate. He listened to me – and gave me what I needed in terms of insights about the corporate culture, the management style, what the senior leadership team were really interested in seeing during interview. This meant I was always as well briefed as I could be. And as an agent for the client, he gave a good impression of the company which helped me prioritise my activities."
"Everyone at the Ipswich branch is always polite, efficient and professional"
"The Service is generally very professional and Swanstaff are undoubtedly the best agency I have worked for."